Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Scary Window Man (Now with Poll)

So I have been saving like crazy to replace my patio door because it leaks. I also want to replace my windows (I only have 4) and from door/storm door because they are less than energy efficient and the windows are starting to mildew (even though they are aluminum, not wood), so obviously they leak some too. I want to do that this year for the tax credit; I got part of it this year from my furnace but still have about half of it left. And I have just about enough money per my research.

The problem is that this area is rural and it's hard to find people to do things sometimes. I couldn't find any contractors, and the one who was supposed to come out for an estimate never showed. I hate the big-chain DIY store nearby who do install windows and doors, because they tend to be expensive, and they charge $30 for an estimate. So I decided to try Sears (I did have that in blog code, but you know what? I want people to read about this, before it happens to them) first. You know, they advertise about all the happy things they do and they do at least have the benefit of a good reputation.

So, yesterday the man came for the estimate. thankfully I'd asked my mom to be here to help ask questions. I should have known it was a problem when he corrected me when I used the word estimate in the first 40 seconds. Then he stopped to answer his cell phone. And kind of complained about the drive. I guess he came from the Big City; I'm sorry about that but I didn't exactly know and besides, that is his job. He was kind of hard to get on task, but eventually got around to measuring windows. Then he did this boring sales presentation. Then he stopped and asked for water. Which was a bit odd, although ok. And then he presented the price. Which was around $6000 for 4 windows and a slider. Um, can we say a bit high?

So then he pressured me to commit then. I told him I couldn't, that I could not afford that much and would need to get some more estimates. He then proceeded to argue about how that wasn't high, that getting estimates was stupid (I believe he used that word). He demanded to know what I had planned to spend. I refused to tell him. He demanded to know why. I told him I feel my finances are my own business, not his, and he'd made it clear we weren't bargaining so it was none of his business. Then he kept wanting to know why we thought the price was high. My mother pointed out that she had just had windows installed for $250 apiece and they are high quality windows. He kept insisting she was wrong.

And then he made his crucial mistake. I'm doing great now, but I am still bipolar and I still have characteristics of it. And yesterday was a very rough day. Which means more symptoms will come out. One of the things that I really, really struggle with in making eye contact. Having said that, one evaluation I had for vocational rehab indicated that I have the best eye contact of someone with severe bipolar that the assessor had seen. However, I work very hard at it and doing so is conscious unless you are one of a few people. And so I'm also very, very sensitive about it. And he started insisting I look him in the eye. At which point I became furious, barely able to spit out a sentence. I knew I should tell him to leave and reach for the phone and my friendly police if he wasn't out the door in 3 seconds. But I just couldn't TALK. I mean, this is how he tries to sell me things??????

He proceeded to argue for another 10 minutes, including demanding (I know I keep using that word but it is about the only word that works) why my mother was there, if she was there just to keep me from deciding to go with the best? And also when we talked about my mother's windows being done by a contractor he wanted to know why I hadn't had them do an estimate if they were so great. Um, let's see. 1) They are 30 minutes away and would charge extra for the drive. 2) They are wildly popular and it can take 6-8 months to get something done with them. 3)This was my first "estimate". I've not put a lot of time into this because I haven't HAD a lot of time. He just kept arguing and arguing, with this scary anger just under the surface. All because I wouldn't spend more money than I have. And it's not like this house is the greatest ever. It is warm and dry and does what i need it to do, but it is also not ever going to be worth a ton of money, and putting in the most expensive windows in the universe would be a bad investment because I'd never get the money out of them.

I think that he mainly left because my mother could see I was about to blow up and hustled him out. Literally she picked up his samples and said "let me help you".

I'm still rather flabbergasted, and so mad at myself for reverting to abused girl and not making him leave when he was scary and inappropriate. It's funny now, but it wasn't then, and knowing my reaction was not the safe one still isn't funny. I've just never really considered using the words "leave my home or I will call the police". I guess I have, if my father shows up that will be way more polite than what would come out, but since he has no idea where I live that idea is so remote that it's not a practiced reaction like it was 10 years ago.

So anyway, Sears windows not getting my seal of approval....And I'd highly recommend if you live in what is considered the northeast portion of Ohio out to Toledo that you very carefully avoid Sears salesmen named Marty. Like if you get an estimate request that it not be anyone with that name. Because he will scare you. And you will not complain to the company directly because you know what one complaint can do to someone's job these days. Except you still might complain, just without being overly specific. Because if he knows who complained he might come back and kill you. In your sleep.

So, blog readers, vote. Complain or stay quiet? (See poll on right.. If the placement is weird, I don't know why; it is on my computer but this computer isn't always great with the graphics. I think though that my template doesn't allow everything I could ever want in the sidebar since this happens whenever I add something. Or it's just my computers and it's fine. Who knows).


Julia said...

How smart of you to have your mom there as back up. Seriously, this is just one SMALL example of how you really care for yourself. It's awesome how you do that.

Holly said...

That was an awesome precaution- I had a similar scenario a year or two ago with a Gutter Guard salesman...finally I just said (with much effort on my part) I am not buying your guards because you are pushy. He packed up an left with his tail between his legs.

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd say hi. I was recently diagnosed a bipolar... though probably a very mild case. I found your blog relatable.

Michal Ann said...

Can your mom do the complaining for you? What is the complaint procedure? Hmmm... I think you and mom did well under the circumstances. The guy sounds more like a thug than a salesman. The nerve!

SearsCare said...

To Just me,
My name is Brian and I’m part of the Sears Cares Escalations team. I came across this post and I wanted to reach out to you regarding the “Marty” that came out to your home. I cannot express how sorry we are to hear about this encounter with a Sears employee. There is no part of his actions that are acceptable. You should not be made to feel as you have when you have someone in your home, for any reason. I want to assure you that Marty is not representative of what Sears stands for. I am very sorry for what has happened to you and I would be very happy if you would respond to my team and allow us to talk with you regarding this unfortunate situation, for several reasons. We simply cannot let someone represent this organization that is causing fear and consternation to anyone, especially in their home. At your convenience, please contact my office via email at searscares@searshc.com so you don’t have to continue to be upset by this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide the screen name (Just me) used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.
Thank you,
Brian J.
Senior Case Manager
Sears Cares

Michal Ann said...

Sears Cares Escalations team?? There's a team? "Escalations?" "I came across this post...?" Ummm....

The late Paul Harvey and I are looking forward to "the rest of the story."

otgirl said...

Wow! He was definitely boundary bashing. Something in him could sense that you could be initimidated so he did! That whole insisting you look him in the eye thing is totally surreal and freaky. Absolutely. Regardless of whether you have some kind of problem with eye contact or not. Also, good job having your mom there, I often have a second person when I'm doing things like that because it's hard for me to feel confident in those situations where I don't know what I'm talking about.

Also, I never thought about it before, but I bet sears (and other companies) has people who search the blogosphere for posts with their name just so they can address concerns like these. Good for them, and I say see what they have to offer. Just, you know, bring your mom along if you have to talk to them- or try doing any resolution by email which'll give you time to think about how you respond to anything uncomfortable.

You rock! Keep us posted!